banner
CONTACT US
***** NJ DISCOVER IS A FULL SERVICE HD PRODUCTION COMPANY - STRENGTH IS PRODUCING TV COMMERCIALS AND WEBMERCIALS SO YOU COULD ADVERTISE YOUR BUSINESS ON CABLE TELEVISION, SOCIAL MEDIA AND THE WORLDWIDE WEB - "GET DISCOVERED WITH NJ DISCOVER" - CONTACT US TODAY FOR DETAILS at 732-303-8844 *****

A Holiday Party Experience at McGuire Air Force Base/Fort Dix by Calvin Schwartz 1-3-17

A Holiday Party Experience at McGuire Air Force Base/Fort Dix  by Calvin Schwartz   1-3-17

 

 

Expressions of freedom and American strength

Expressions of freedom and American strength

welcome to Joint Bases of McGuire Air Force Base and Fort Dix and Lakehurst

welcome to Joint Bases of McGuire Air Force Base and Fort Dix and Lakehurst

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

with Steven Levine from WindMill and Military Chaplains

with Steven Levine from WindMill and Military Chaplains

NJ Brigadier General Michael L Cuniff lighting holiday Menorah.

NJ Brigadier General Michael L Cunniff lighting holiday Menorah.

 

The holidays are times of introspection and gratitude. Some years ago, I met Steven Levine from the WindMill Restaurants at the Jersey Shore. He has been involved in giving back to the communities in many ways. During Hurricane Sandy, he was there feeding people made homeless by the storm as well as rescue workers. A few weeks ago, he invited me to the Asbury Park VFW, where he sponsored a large community Christmas dinner and Toy boutique for kids along with Pastor Isaac Friedel of the Jersey Shore Dream Center. Indeed, I was grateful to be part of the spirit of the season. Later, he asked if I’d like to go to a Holiday Hanukah Party he was involved in at McGuire Air Force Base and Fort Dix. Along with his family, he was providing toys for tots. I was thrilled to have the opportunity to spend time at a military base at the holidays; actually my first substantive time spent at a military base so very close to home.

On Thursday December 29th we formed a mini caravan of a WindMill truck and a Suburban carrying toys and Steven’s wife, daughter and friends and my wide-eyed self; I was going to spend time with our military. After security check-in, we arrived at the activity center which was hosting the party. Being a few hours early, afforded us time to explore. I was overwhelmed with the vastness of the base. I rolled down a window and took pictures (with permission). In the distance, many fuselages of transport planes waiting. One nearby, obviously retired, stated, ‘US Air Force’. Subliminally, I instantly thought about freedom and the power of America and what our military does to preserve freedom. It hit me that fast. That’s what seeing that plane so close did to me.

Next stop, more practically speaking, was a shopping mall and food court; the Military BX, as big as any vast modern mart store; and yes, I was aware of the great prices the military paid. Sitting with our group in the food court, I watched soldiers, families passing by. How do I explain this? How did I sense that esprit de corps and belonging? But I did. Smiles all around; how easy it must’ve been for the passing military personnel to sense I was a civilian wearing my traditional Rutgers cap.

 

Base Commander Frederick D. Thaden lighting Menorah

Base Commander Col. Frederick D. Thaden lighting Menorah

 

If I was alone driving, I’d still be lost like the man who was never found after taking a Boston subway ride (an old Kingston Trio folk song.) It was a city in itself; many thousands stationed here. With a few twists, turns, round-about, passed a Subway sandwich shop and gas station, we were back at the activity center, now readied for the party. A few camouflaged soldiers, whom we met earlier, welcomed us back and helped unload the toys. A young sergeant and I talked about Indiana and her being a Hoosier. The room was decorated with tables Hanukah themed and forty or so guests were treated to traditional holiday foods like potato latkes. The kids got toys and games.

What I did notice was the multi-cultural flavor of the party. Yes, A Jewish holiday but personnel were diverse making it even more holiday spirited. For me, always extant in absorption of emotions and feelings, there was a warmth, caring and sharing in the room. It was a strong feeling. For those moments, I wondered what’d be like to serve and be stationed here and what I missed. Also present were a group of Jewish War Veterans. One veteran introduced me to the last living dog that worked in 9-11. She rescued two NY PATH policemen buried under building Seven. The veteran still trains canines.

 

with the military dog who rescued 2 NY PATH Policemen after Building 7 collapsed on 9-11. She is last living dog 9-11

with the military dog who rescued 2 NY PATH Policemen after Building 7 collapsed on 9-11. She is last living dog from 9-11

with Base Commander Thaden after party.

with Base Commander Col. Thaden after party.

 

What cemented the warm feelings even more was the announcement that New Jersey’s Brigadier General, Michael L Cunniff and Base Commander Col. Frederick D. Thaden were at the party and each was given the honor of lighting a candle on the Menorah. A very special feeling of inclusion and bonding. A very modern military. I had time to chat with both Military Chaplains and with Commander Thaden. Perhaps, my NJ Discover journalism travels would bring me back here and how I’d love that.

The night concluded with traditional songs and jelly donuts (part of the holiday) And in keeping with the ‘donut’ theme, the experience was well worth the trip. I keep thinking about the military, the base, freedom and the holiday of Hanukah which is all about freedom.  I’ve been telling my world all about my time at McGuire and Fort Dix; how much it meant to me. A few asked, as a journalist, would I ever go up in a fighter plane? I suggested they have a donut.

 

 

 

0 comments

Add your comment

Nickname:
E-mail:
Website:
Comment:

*

Other articlesgo to homepage

NJ DISCOVER SPECIAL COMING ATTRACTION: Artist Mia Savarese is “Finding the Music: Mixed Media Art & Multi-Sensory Experience” June 3rd 7-9PM  by Calvin Schwartz

NJ DISCOVER SPECIAL COMING ATTRACTION: Artist Mia Savarese is “Finding the Music: Mixed Media Art & Multi-Sensory Experience” June 3rd 7-9PM by Calvin Schwartz(0)

NJ DISCOVER SPECIAL COMING ATTRACTION: Artist Mia Savarese is “Finding the Music: Mixed Media Art & Multi-Sensory Experience” June 3rd 7-9PM  by Calvin Schwartz                       It’s not often these days of multitude event bombardment in central Jersey, that I take to basically urging folks to

It Continues To Be a Brave New World: First Annual  IDT Hackathon  April 22nd -April 23rd Newark NJ   by Calvin Schwartz   May 8, 2017

It Continues To Be a Brave New World: First Annual IDT Hackathon April 22nd -April 23rd Newark NJ by Calvin Schwartz May 8, 2017(0)

It Continues To Be a Brave New World: First Annual IDT Hackathon April 22nd -April 23rd Newark NJ by Calvin Schwartz May 8, 2017                         IDT HACKATHON EVENT Thinking back over the past few years, I wonder how many times I’ve invoked references to

THE STRAND Lakewood 95th Anniversary Birthday Party April 26th: Reasons to be There  by Calvin Schwartz

THE STRAND Lakewood 95th Anniversary Birthday Party April 26th: Reasons to be There by Calvin Schwartz(0)

THE STRAND Lakewood 95th Anniversary Birthday Party April 26th: Reasons to be There             by Calvin Schwartz                      The Strand is having a 95th Anniversary Birthday Party. I’m going to get around to talking about the April 26th Party and shouting

COMING ATTRACTIONS:  Goumba Johnny and 101.5’s Steve Trevelise at Catch a Rising Star in Princeton April 28th  by  Calvin Schwartz

COMING ATTRACTIONS: Goumba Johnny and 101.5’s Steve Trevelise at Catch a Rising Star in Princeton April 28th by Calvin Schwartz(0)

COMING ATTRACTIONS:  Goumba Johnny and 101.5’s Steve Trevelise at Catch a Rising Star in Princeton April 28th  by  Calvin Schwartz               From time to time, I report here on NJ Discover on comedy highlights and coming attractions. It’s my great affectation with the art of comedy, going back to

NJ DISCOVER FOLLOW-UP: ON THE NJ ART ROAD: MICHAEL MALPASS, SCULPTOR; NEW  EXHIBIT AT ATLANTIC HIGHLANDS ART COUNCIL  SAT. APRIL 8TH   by Calvin Schwartz    March 30th

NJ DISCOVER FOLLOW-UP: ON THE NJ ART ROAD: MICHAEL MALPASS, SCULPTOR; NEW EXHIBIT AT ATLANTIC HIGHLANDS ART COUNCIL SAT. APRIL 8TH by Calvin Schwartz March 30th(0)

NJ DISCOVER FOLLOW-UP: ON THE NJ ART ROAD: MICHAEL MALPASS, SCULPTOR; NEW EXHIBIT AT ATLANTIC HIGHLANDS ART COUNCIL SAT. APRIL 8TH by Calvin Schwartz              Back last June, 2016, I wrote a special article on the late sculptor Michael Malpass. It was quite a story of synchronicity in the universe

read more
banner

NJD NEW VIDEO

Artist Nation TV

banner

Find Us on Facebook

The Garden State Wine Growers Association

banner

NJ Discover Tweets

Contacts and information

MV Digital Productions is NJ Discover\'s very own full service Production Company. MV Digital will produce a professional quality HD commercial or infomercial for your business at an affordable price in a very short period of time.

NJ Discover is Your One Stop Shopping for TV/Internet Production and Advertising.

Social networks

Most popular categories

© 2011-2012 NJ Discover All rights reserved.